Project diary - replace pickups in Peavey Reactor

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Digital Larry, Sep 6, 2020.

  1. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I don't mean to try to make it sound important or overly dramatic.

    Previously I had installed a lil 59 in the bridge with a 5-way superswitch and DPST, and came up with parallel/series in phase, split coil and out of phase options. The only trouble is that out of 9 sounds I really only liked a couple of them. That's what happens when you don't have a game plan.

    Guitar goes into closet for 10 years. I pulled it out and some of the settings didn't make any sound at all. Come to find out the lil 59 has an internal short somewhere, which I don't feel like tracking down. As this is the only T-type guitar I own, I figure why not put pickups in it that will make it sound like a Telecaster, rather than something else?

    I've got a couple Cavalier two-tap "Lion" pickups on order. So will put back the 3-way switch and use the (now) DPDT for tap selection. Basically, a trad and slightly hotter Tele in one. I like that better philosophically than 5-way superswitch what-the-heck-is-going-on shenanigans.

    While the guitar is all apart, I thought "what else should I do" so I:
    - got one of those jack socket replacement things and
    - some copper foil to shield the pickup cavities.

    One thing that I thought about but have decided against is to try to spray paint this (currently black) to Lake Placid Blue. I don't have any LPB guitars and it weighs heavily on my mind.
     
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  2. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Some photos to get us all in the mood for when the replacement bits arrive. I also wanted to show the random crap cluttering my workbench... yes it's really the way I work... oh look there are the Triple Shots I never installed with the P-Rails I sold 2 years ago that I never installed in the Steinberger guitar I sold last year.

    I also show the removed pickups, including the back side of the Duncan lil 59. Don't know why it developed a short, but it did.

    I did buy the "guitar workshop kit" at the local shop which included a foam mat and a neck support block.

    IMG_20200907_075349327.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

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  3. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Don't try stripping that finish to paint, just wet sand with 320 and have at it :)
     
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  4. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Afflicted

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    Cool. Those Reactors are still one of the better Tele values out there, IMO.

    Happy modding!
     
  5. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Do tell. I just checked what people charge to paint a guitar body. Wow, upwards of $300 holy smokes! Eh, I might just wait until the inevitable day I get another guitar or bass and just make sure it's the right color to begin with.
     
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  6. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    It isn't rocket science dude, just feather sand the scratches, but that body looks pretty slick. Make a paint stick to bolt in the neck pocket. The Rust-Oleum 2X has a color very close. One can will cover the body easy, then one can of clear gloss misted over that (not the whole can) and tada! Your done :rolleyes::)

    Dave
     
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  7. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    paint stick = to block any paint from getting in there? How does one do that exactly?

    Is there an online guide you'd recommend? Whenever doing something new like fixing the washing machine, I know that by the 3rd time I do it in one weekend, I'll have figured it out. But then I'll forget when the next time rolls around. So if I DO paint this one I'd like it to work well the first time. Temps next two days are around 100 but later in the week will be in the 80s.

    You're leading me down the path of... MORE MODS!!!! OMG now I feel like I have to go review all the posts I made up to now where I made disparaging remarks about mods.
     
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  8. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Lmao, nothing that fancy. Just a stick you can clamp in a vice to leave the body free standing for painting. Thousands of examples around here
     
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  9. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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  10. Audiowonderland

    Audiowonderland Tele-Meister

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    I wish I still had mine..
     
  11. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    great project, DL I'll be watching this develope!

    I did a pickup change in Peavey preditor (Lefty ) I got for a few bucks and dropped a set of Lace alumatones into it ,( took some really carefull carving to not botch the project ), but now its my test guitar ( absolutely no noise from the guitars ) and it sounds excellant
    I used a very sharp wood chisel to recarve the pickup routes to fit the pickups + new cts pots, switchcraft, and orange drop

    P1012104.JPG P1012106.JPG -1_4.jpg
     
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  12. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Larry, one of the hardest parts about home building (or in your case, modifying) a guitar is the finish. It is very very difficult for a home finisher to even approach a professional or factory finish. We simply don't have the same products available and most of us don't have the experience.

    Three hundred bucks for a professional solid color finish is reasonable, I would expect more. If you decide to take it on yourself do a heck of a lot of research, find out what is on your guitar now and whether you finish of choice is compatible and practice on scrap until you have the whole process nailed before you go close to your guitar. Be prepared for issues and disappointment.

    I don't use a stick when I finish, I put my guitars flat on their top or back with little blocks of wood on a low table that I can walk around. I simply don't have fine enough control of my gun when I'm trying to shoot something hanging and I sure as heck wouldn't hang on to it. There is a thread right now on the Finely Finished subforum about holding a guitar - you'll see how I do it.
     
  13. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Yeah well you may have talked me out of it. Sooner I can get this one buttoned up I can get back to attempting to finish recording one of the 3 "taking way longer than I planned" songs currently in motion.
     
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  14. crazydave911

    crazydave911 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Learn to trust that gut. And the reason I now use Rust-Oleum? I used to be a krylon desciple but the current formula will only cover itself, and the Rust-Oleum will cover most anything as Krylon USED to do. But as Freeman said, test it on a small place on the side.
    Also, quit trying to make everything so complicated, some things are but choosing a pro finish in this case is just that, a choice not a requirement. Don't like your own job, then get a pro job. You'll only be out two cans of paint and some sandpaper :)

    Dave
     
  15. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    All right, I got the Cavalier pickups today, and attached them to the corresponding pieces of the guitar. I haven't assembled it yet as I'm waiting for the copper foil from Stew Mac. I reused the springs from the Peavey instead of the rubber tubing that came with the new pickups. Had to make the neck pickup cutout slightly wider for it to fit which I did with a few scrapes of an X-Acto knife.

    I've decided against painting the guitar for a number of reasons I won't go into right now. Some personal, some practical.

    IMG_20200910_165947957.jpg IMG_20200910_165940291.jpg
    IMG_20200910_165958315.jpg
    IMG_20200910_170010708.jpg IMG_20200910_170023348.jpg
    IMG_20200910_170016559.jpg
     
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  16. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    It's always something.

    Today the copper shielding tape arrived from Stew Mac. I got the deluxe kit with 2", 3/4", 1/4" rolls. It seems like it really works well and was pretty easy to work with. I added it to the 3 cavities and then ran wires between them and soldered in place giving a nice "000" reading on my ohm meter. Covered the back of the pickguard, then I had to take the neck off to get the pickguard/neck poop back on (I had hoped to avoid that, but whatever)...

    Checked the resistance on the tapped poops, figured out which wafer was neck, which bridge (checked and rechecked about 5 times because I hate redoing stuff). Screwed the bridge assembly back on. One screw seems a little loose, might need the toothpick treatment - can do that later.

    Connected the poop wires to the DPDT toggle. Checked the resistance in all positions. Seems OK. I guess maybe the neck poop uses 43 AWG wire? Not sure... its DCR is higher than the bridge.

    Then I got out the "Electrosocket jack mount":

    https://www.stewmac.com/parts-and-hardware/jack-plates/electrosocket-jack-mount.html

    and checked it against the hole in the guitar - perfect fit! Nice.

    Then I tried to screw the output jack into that and - the dang hole is too big! I guess I'll put the old mounting plate back in for the time being until I can get a jack that actually fits. Since I feel stupid ordering just one thing from Stew Mac maybe I'll get new tuners also. Or maybe not yet. See how this works out for the time being.

    Boo hoo hoo. Just kidding. But it really is always something.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020 at 1:26 AM
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  17. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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    IF you see customizing a guitar as a vacation like walking to nature with hills, and valleys and don't have a time limit, than it can be a rewarding thing to do.
    like such a vacation you read the flyers what it is all about, where you are going to and what to aspect.
    than you have get your stuff together and packet and check if you have all you need.

    this is with customizing to.
    like @Freeman Keller wrote, finish is one of the hardest parts.

    so the choice is, do you want to do it more often, than this is a good project to learn with all the ups and down that go with it. because you will not get it spotless it the first runs
    if not, than do all that is needed to get it to play and enjoy your new pickups and leave it like that.

    i have done it because i liked the challenge, do i reach the top, do i get it there where i want it to be.
    no pain no gain they say, but when its done and it is what you want it to be, man that is a good feeling :cool:
    is it not @crazydave911 ?;)
     
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  18. stratisfied

    stratisfied Tele-Meister

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    Rustoleum paint is an enamel and is very soft so it will wear quickly, Some like that some don't. The other issue is whatever quality of finish you get straight from the can, that's what you live with. You cannot wet sand and buff enamel (or acrylic enamel) as one does with lacquer (nitrocellulose or acrylic lacquer) to achieve the final finish. Laying down a glassy smooth coat of enamel rarely ever happens. You can topcoat with clear enamel but you have the same issue. You have to live with any specs of dust in the paint and any orange peel or runs that may occur.

    The beauty of lacquer is you can do a mediocre color coat of lacquer, wet sand out any irregularities and buff it to a high gloss with professional looking results You can take it a step further and topoat with multiple layers of clear lacquer, wet sand and buff, but in the case of solid colors, it is not necessary to achieve a glossy, glass-like finish.

    Don't even think about spraying Clear lacquer over Rustoleum or any other enamel as it will wrinkle and lift the enamel like paint stripper.
     
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  19. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Haha, no I don't think of it that way at all. For me it's more like having to fix the toilet on the weekend and really getting to know the people at the hardware store because I have to go back 5 times to get everything I need! And breaking some things along the way and hoping nobody notices the patches or scratches.

    I also wanted to do it to improve my social standing here, because:
    a) It's the only T-type I own
    b) Otherwise I'd just be making sarcastic remarks about random things all the time, which in my experience gets annoying after awhile.

    I did replace the pickups on my Eastwood electric mandolin a few years back, out of necessity. I complained bitterly at mandolincafe throughout the ordeal. It works much better now though.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020 at 10:05 AM
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  20. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Good to know. I don't think I'm ever going to refinish a guitar. Too many other things which I'd rather do.
     
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